Formula 1 has shifted a number of races across its 2024 calendar in a bid to reduce the series’ environmental impact.
In the quest for greater sustainability, and F1’s stated target of becoming net zero by 2030, the Japanese race moves to April 7 from its usual autumn date. Suzuka is now placed between the Australian GP in Melbourne and the Chinese race in Shanghai – which returns to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since the pandemic.
Later in the season, the Azerbaijan GP will be twinned with Singapore in September. However, the move towards greater regionalisation has been partly stymied by Canadian organisers resisting attempts to twin the Montreal race with Miami in May.
Formula 1 said the rescheduling of the calendar will not just be beneficial from an environmental point of view, but will also diminish logistical burdens for teams ahead of a season that will feature a record 24 races. The full calandar can be viewed here.
“Formula 1 has made clear its intention to move towards greater calendar regionalisation, reducing logistical burdens and making the season more sustainable,” the organisation said in a statement.
“By moving Japan to April, Azerbaijan to September and Qatar back-to-back with Abu Dhabi, this calendar creates a better flow of races in certain regions, and this work will continue while being realistic to the fact that as a world championship, with climatic and contractual constraints, there will always be travel required that cannot be completely regionalised.”
The season begins from February 29 in Bahrain and then Saudi Arabia, with both those races to be held on Saturdays to comply with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
China was due to return this year but had to be cancelled because of the uncertainty over the Covid situation in the country at the start of the year.
Speaking of the 2024 Formula 1 calendar announcement, Stefano Domenicali, president and chief executive of Formula 1, said: “I am delighted to announce the 2024 calendar with 24 races that will deliver an exciting season for our fans around the world. There is huge interest and continued demand for Formula 1, and I believe this calendar strikes the right balance between traditional races and new and existing venues.
“I want to thank all of the promoters and partners for their support and effort to achieve this great schedule. Our journey to a more sustainable calendar will continue in the coming years as we further streamline operations as part of our Net Zero 2030 commitment. We have plenty of racing to look forward to in 2023, including the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, and our fans can look forward to more excitement next season.”